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Fremonters encouraged to get on waiting list for second solar farm

The Fremont Community Solar Farm project has generated a lot of interest.

And it continues to do so.

The first solar farm is sold out, but local residents are encouraged to go to Fremont Department of Utilities and get their names on a waiting list for the second solar farm.

So far, 22 people are on that waiting list.

The size of the next farm would be determined by the participants on the list, said Lottie Mitchell, executive assistant to the Fremont City Administrator.

Going on the waiting list doesn’t commit someone to participating, it just lets the utilities department know the person is interested in the second farm.

Those on the waiting list will have priority for signups, she said.

Signups for the second solar farm wouldn’t start until the spring of 2018.

The second solar farm is expected to be completed next year.

“We hope to have it on line by October of 2018,” Mitchell said.

The first solar farm, which has more than 200 participants, is expected to be online by January. The farm has approximately 4,900 panels and is situated between First Street and Jack Sutton Drive and will be behind the utilities department warehouse.

“If the demand is there for another farm of that size, that’s what we’ll go with, but it will depend on the demand,” Mitchell said.

The first solar farm is expected to produce 1.5 megawatts.

By comparison, the coal-fired power plant is capable of producing more than 125 megawatts.

“This solar farm is a small portion of our energy mix, but we are happy to be able to offer it,” Mitchell said.

People have been interested in the solar farm, because it’s good for the environment.

“There is a potential for cost savings, depending on which participation level you choose, but the biggest drive is the green energy,” Mitchell said. “It reduces CO2 emissions for cleaner air to breathe and to help protect the Ozone.”

The Ozone layer around the earth serves as a shield from the harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation emitted by the sun.

To be put on the waiting list visit the utilities office on the second floor of the Fremont Municipal building at 400 E. Military Ave.

Work continues to progress on the first solar farm.

“They’re removing the trees, replanting them,” Mitchell said. “They’re discing up the grass so we can get the proper grass mix for the solar farm and installation of the equipment should start within the next month.”

Rockin' Johnny rolls through The Corner Bar

On Sunday afternoon the sound of Chicago blues will be rolling out of The Corner Bar as Rockin’ Johnny Burgin returns to Fremont as part of a coast to coast tour from San Diego to Boston.

The show will be a blues matinee of sorts as Burgin is set to play from 4-8 p.m. at The Corner Bar, 300 N Main Street, on Sunday, August 27th.

There is no cover for the show that will feature Burgin playing as a trio with Omaha based musicians Doug Collins on bass and Doug Montera on drums.

“The trio is really great because it is really raw and exciting,” Johnny Burgin said in a phone interview with the Tribune. “At a small place like the Corner Bar it is a really intimate experience, it really draws people in.”

The two month tour, which includes 50 dates in 17 states, is promoting Burgin’s newest album “Neoprene Fedora,” which chronicles the musicians move from Chicago to California last September.

“It’s kind of a story record of leaving behind the old and starting a new chapter out here in California,” Burgin said.

The tour will feature several shows in the Chicago area as Burgin heads back to where he made a name for himself as a blues musician. Those include two shows at Buddy Guy’s Legends as well as The Smoke Daddy, which holds a special significance for Burgin.

“The Smoke Daddy is a place I used to have a residency at, and that residency put me on the map years ago,” Burgin said. “So I’m hitting some of my old spots in Chicago.”

The album is Burgin’s seventh full length release and features a decidedly different tone as the bluesman veered from his traditional Chicago blues style to experiment with different genres.

“This one is kind of like my ‘White Album,’ it is trying a lot of different genres,” Burgin said. “It’s kind of like trying on a bunch of new outfits, sometimes it’s time to change things up.”

Burgin’s recent relocation from Chicago to California inspired the album and allowed him to collaborate with an entire new group of musicians.

“I just have a different palette to draw from here,” Burgin said. “I’ve got sixteen different musicians on the new album so I am using all these other colors, people and viewpoints.”

Along with “Neoprene Fedora”, the associated tour will also allow Burgin the opportunity to collaborate with many different artists as he will be featured as a special guest of harpman Tony Holiday over three dates in Salt Lake City, as well as teaming up with Collins and Montera for the show at The Corner Bar.

The chance to collaborate with new artists was one of the reasons Burgin made the move from the Midwest to the Sunshine State.

“There’s a lot to do and a lot of new people to play with, and I’m kind of a collaborative artist,” he said. “I like other people to push me, and I like to respond to what other people are playing.”

Burgin’s newest album, “Neoprene Fedora,” is available for purchase online at and will also be available at his show on Sunday.

Interviews begin Wednesday to fill Osborn's Board of Supervisors position

A tenured member of the Dodge County Board of Supervisors who recently stepped down due to moving out of his district is in the process of being replaced.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, four candidates will interview for the District 7 Dodge County Board of Supervisors seat previously held by Gary Osborn. Osborn was appointed to his seat in October 2012 following the death of Danny Stoeber, who held the District 7 seat for 2 ¼ years.

Osborn was reelected in 2014 and held the position until he officially stepped down Aug. 3, Dodge County Clerk Fred Mytty said during a Tuesday interview with the Tribune. Osborn, he said, will be moving to Omaha.

By Nebraska state statutes, a committee comprised of County Attorney Oliver Glass, County Treasurer Cathy Dill and Mytty will be in charge of appointing Osborn’s successor to fill the remaining approximately 1 ¼ years left on his term.

Any registered voter in District 7 — comprised of 5,214 Dodge County residents — was eligible to apply for the position, Mytty said. District 7, consisting of precincts 1B, 2A, 2B and 3E, spans from the area of Lincoln Street west to the area of south 10th Street to the south city limits and west of Platte Avenue to D Street in the middle of Fremont, released information says.

The position, which has annual salary of $17,500 plus benefits, will be selected from a pool of four applicants who submitted cover letters and resumes by Aug. 18. The four applicants are Steve Dahl, Kirk Brown, James Vaughan and Doug Backens.

Each applicant will be subject to a 30-minute interview held inside the County Board Room, located on the third floor of the Dodge County Court House.

Mytty said that he and the other two people conducting the interviews will meet briefly prior to interviews, however, each person will ask their own questions that they feel are pressing.

It’s possible, Mytty said, that the position could be filled Wednesday, however, per state statute the position simply needs to be filled within 45 days of Aug. 3.

Mytty said that Osborn was a good representative of his district during his approximately 5 ½ years of service.

“He’s done a good job,” Mytty said of Osborn. “One of his major responsibilities was serving on the ENSA (Eastern Nebraska Human Service Agency) Board of Directors, they are the ones that control ECOR and the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. It’s a multi-county agency and he was our representative.”

While a definitive decision may not be made following the initial interview process, it should give the interviewees a great jump on the process.

“Tomorrow will tell us a lot I think,” Mytty said. “It will point us in the right direction.”